Prose Poems, Memos, Hybrid Forms All Ride in This Taxi: A Dual Q&A with Sean Singer and Christine Sneed

by Sean Singer & Christine Sneed

Christine Sneed: I first met Sean Singer in the late 1990s. I was a poetry student in the MFA program at Indiana University-Bloomington and he was an undergraduate student. One spring semester he was granted permission to enroll in our MFA workshop, and as soon as he shared his first poem with the class, I was struck by how smart, playful, and mature his work was—in a word, precocious but absent any negative connotations. Not long after he graduated from Indiana University, I wasn’t surprised to learn he’d received the Yale Younger Poets Award for his debut collection, Discography. We’ve […]

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Signed with an XO: Q&A with ‘XO’ Author Sara Rauch

by Christine Sneed

Most readers (all?) live for the books that compel them to ignore worldly distractions in order to reach the final page with as little delay as possible. I had that experience recently when I read Sara Rauch’s new memoir, XO (172 pages; Autofocus Books), which chronicles the author’s inexorable trajectory from a monogamous relationship with a female partner to a dizzying, disorienting affair with a heterosexual man whom she met as a student at her West Coast MFA program. He was an established, much-published writer. He was also married and one of the program’s faculty. Years ago, I read a […]

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INTEROFFICE MEMORANDUM 1/3

by Christine Sneed

Date:   January 3rd To:      All Quest Industries Employees From: President Bryan Stokerly, Esq.  Subj:   Welcome Back/In-Office Birthday Celebrations   It’s good to see everyone back in the office again, but it’s obvious very few of us got any better looking in the months we were working from home. Be that as it may, let us hope the year ahead will be an improvement on the last one, which was probably the worst year of my life, but I won’t go into that right now. Today seems an optimal moment to share with you a few preferences regarding in-office […]

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Interoffice Memorandum 6/25

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Date: June 25th, 2018 To: All Quest Industries Employees From: President Bryan Stokerly, Esq. Subj: Staying the Course Please ignore any and all rumors you might be hearing in these hallways about the financial health of Quest Industries. Everything is fine, ladies and gentlemen. It really is. Take my word for it. One other matter before I conclude: Whoever has been sticking wads of chewing gum on the underside of my office doorknob, here is a warning, just for you: Stop this evil, puerile business immediately or I will be forced to hire an unscrupulous acquaintance of mine who will beat […]

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Interoffice Memorandum 4/20

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Date: April 20th To: All Quest Industries Employees From: President Bryan Stokerly, Esq. Subj: Important Discoveries I am very pleased to share with you a few recent discoveries I’ve made that I think you too will benefit from: 1. Some of us think we are allergic to nuts, but we are not. 2. Parking in a tow zone for 1-3 minutes is usually okay. 3. It is very difficult to know, objectively speaking, if you are good-looking. 4. Late-night eating is never a good idea, unless you have had nothing to eat in at least 12+ hours. 5. It’s okay […]

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Interoffice Memorandum 2/15

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Date: 15 February To: All Quest Industries Employees From: Judy Kemper, Vice President of Marketing Subj: Lost cardigan—please help! I seem to have misplaced a very important sweater and I’m almost certain I left it here in the office this past Friday. If you have seen my lime green Laura Ashley cardigan, size M, with pearl buttons, a small-to-medium gravy stain on one sleeve (left), and one frayed cuff (right), please tell me where you spotted it, and if this information leads to its recovery, I promise to give you a reward of your choosing, up to $10 in value. […]

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The Opportunity to Understand What’s Different: Q&A with Christine Sneed

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Over the course of a relatively short but extremely productive literary career, Christine Sneed has already achieved a substantial, and enviable, body of work. Her first story collection, 2009’s Portraits of a Few of the People I’ve Made Cry, was awarded the AWP Grace Paley Prize and long listed for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story prize. Both for its attention to detail, and its close, caring, but unsentimental attention to the complicated lives of women (and men), Portraits is in Paley’s spirit at the same time as it honors the tradition of what O’Connor called “the lonely voice’’ that […]

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Having It All, and Nothing to Show For It: Christine Sneed’s ‘Little Known Facts’

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The obsession with celebrity is arguably more intense today than it has ever been before. In the millennial years, the somewhat nebulous concept of fame has been democratized, intensified, and extended to those outside of the film and television industries of Hollywood. Yet despite the elevation of everyday people to the status of public figures, the hierarchical nature of celebrity continues to privilege movie stars above all else, using their fame and talent as the benchmark against which all others are judged. Exploring celebrity through this lens, Christine Sneed’s novel, Little Known Facts (Bloomsbury, 304 pages), tells the story of […]

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